Very Good. Item #10298
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. First Edition, with no additional printings listed and Scribner's seal to copyright (predates Scribner's "A" designation). Octavo; xii, [ii], 348pp. Publisher's black cloth with red lettering. Lacks dust jacket. Boards rubbed along edges with exposure and bumping at corners, scuffs down hinges and fore-edge, and a fair bit of smudging and soiling to cloth. Front board shows a run down front pastedown as if a bend was beginning, but there is no correspondence externally. Hinges starting, with front moreso, and book falls open easily between gatherings, but binding is still holding. Spine a bit slanted, with a vertical crease and dulling to lettering. Pages toned but unmarked.
A rough but intact copy of the first Philo Vance mystery. Barzun offers that it is also the best of Van Dine's offerings, "partly because V.D. had the real-life model of the Joseph Elwell murder (1920) to hold his fancy in check."
[Barzun, A Catalog of Crime 3268].